Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 14 (1899)


Lt 139, 1899

Gotzian, Sister [J.]

Strathfield, New South Wales, Australia

September 11, 1899

This letter is published in entirety in 17MR 119-124.

Dear Sister Gotzian:

I am much burdened regarding the dearth of means which delay the opening of our Avondale Health Retreat. The principal part of the building is up, roofed, floored, and enclosed, but it is not plastered. And we are losing precious time, which ought to be filled with effective work in behalf of those for whom this building is erected. 14LtMs, Lt 139, 1899, par. 1

I have done what I could to help this work along, as well as helping in many other enterprises of great importance to the advancement and honor of the cause that demanded encouragement and assistance. The money which our brethren in California sent me in payment for the college stock that I took from Mrs. Scott was very soon distributed where it would count the most for the work of the Lord. Not one penny of it would I use for myself. All of it, and much more, has gone into the work. 14LtMs, Lt 139, 1899, par. 2

Last year I gave $125 to the Stanmore meetinghouse, and $100 to the meetinghouse in Windsor. This year I have given $250 to the meetinghouse in South Brisbane, and $250 to the meetinghouse in Hamilton, Newcastle. I have invested five hundred pounds in the Avondale Health Retreat and $500 in the Sydney Sanitarium. 14LtMs, Lt 139, 1899, par. 3

This present time is a most important time for the work in Australia, and not only for Australia, but for the missionary work in the countries near Australia, which should receive laborers from this field. The work in Australia is just struggling on to its feet, and as it becomes strong, it will exert its strength in behalf of other fields. Just now the work in Australia must be advanced as rapidly as possible; for everything is now favorable, and the Lord is going out before His messengers, encouraging them, directing their work, and blessing their efforts. 14LtMs, Lt 139, 1899, par. 4

The work of our Health Retreat here in Avondale will have a very important relation to other parts of our work. It will not only serve as a hospital for the sick of this district, who are most destitute of proper facilities for treatment and of a knowledge of nursing, but it will also receive patients from Sydney and Newcastle, and from more distant places. Already the Summer Hill Sanitarium, Sydney, is overflowing, and Dr. Caro says there are patients there who would do better in a place like Avondale. Dr. Rand of Newcastle is waiting impatiently for us to be ready for patients. This is an especially good place for those who become interested in the present truth, for they can attend the Bible classes at the school. It is a splendid place for convalescents who may be benefitted by the country surroundings. 14LtMs, Lt 139, 1899, par. 5

When plans were being laid for this building, and the committee was planning to make everything as small as they could, to save money, our Counsellor said to me, Where is the room for your weary missionaries? In response to this we built larger, and are planning to make it a resting place for weary ministers, missionaries, and evangelists. Brother Gates is here, and needs the very care and treatment that this institution is intended to afford. He caught a bad cold in Melbourne, and needs treatment now; but our place is not yet ready. 14LtMs, Lt 139, 1899, par. 6

In times past we have had to take sick people into our own homes for treatment, because it was not safe to give them treatment in the places where they lived. And now our houses are full of busy workers, and we rejoice that the Retreat is nearly ready for work. Soon the school will close, and several young people who have been preparing for this will be ready to enter its employ as helpers and students. 14LtMs, Lt 139, 1899, par. 7

Will you, my sister, donate something for this work? You have helped us in the past, and at the time of your past donation you intimated that you could do something more if I would write to you in regard to the matters that we have in hand. I now venture to write. This building must be opened, for the necessity is great. We need your help. Can you give it to us, by your own donation and by asking the help of others? I know there are those who could help us if they would. I know there are those who would cheerfully help if they understood our work and its needs. 14LtMs, Lt 139, 1899, par. 8

We see new fields to be entered, and we pray the Lord for help. I am sending to you with this [a] copy of a letter just received from Elder Tenney. The next camp meeting held in Queensland will be at Toowoomba, a beautiful city about one hundred miles west from Brisbane. It is the business center of a large, fertile, and wealthy district. There is a small band of Sabbathkeepers in this place, and much prejudice against the truth, but we trust that the camp meeting will sweep this away, and that this may become the center of an important work. 14LtMs, Lt 139, 1899, par. 9

Last year at the Brisbane camp meeting I was urged to hold some meetings in Toowoomba, and I promised that I would spend Sabbath and Sunday there on my way home. After this a large company of brethren from Rockhampton assembled and urged us to visit that place, which is nearly four hundred miles north of Brisbane. We decided to respond to their request, and went to Rockhampton as soon as the Brisbane meeting was over. I was sick on the way and while there, but was able to speak to the people three times. My severe illness prevented our stopping at Toowoomba as we had promised, and I now think that I shall attend the Toowoomba camp meeting, and thus fulfill my promise to visit that place. 14LtMs, Lt 139, 1899, par. 10

About two weeks after the Toowoomba meeting the camp meeting in Maitland will commence. Maitland is a place of over 20,000 people, twenty-two miles west of Newcastle, and twenty-eight miles northwest of Cooranbong. The instruction given to me about our work has been that we should as rapidly as possible present the truth in the various suburbs of Newcastle, and also in all the towns along the railway line from Newcastle to Brisbane. Maitland is a rich farming district, and is the center of a large stock raising district. If we are successful in securing proper help, we hope with the blessing of God to have a rich harvest of souls there, some of whom will go forth to work for others. 14LtMs, Lt 139, 1899, par. 11

Brother John Paap, who formerly lived at Kaikoura, New Zealand, and who has been one of the chief supporters of our school, has recently sold his property in New Zealand, and has settled in Maitland. The presence of his family there will be a help in the formation of a church in that place. 14LtMs, Lt 139, 1899, par. 12

Last Thursday Willie and his wife and myself drove from our home to Maitland for the first time. The first ten miles of the road was rough and mountainous, and we could proceed but slowly, but the last part of the road was good. We spent an hour taking our dinner by the roadside, and were from seven a.m. to two p.m. in making the journey. 14LtMs, Lt 139, 1899, par. 13

When we reached Brother Paap’s place, we found that they had been waiting dinner for us for some hours, but had given up our coming, and brethren Starr and Daniells had gone to look for a campground. Although I had been travelling since seven o’clock, I did not stop to rest, but we started out immediately to meet Brethren Starr and Daniells, and to search for a campground. 14LtMs, Lt 139, 1899, par. 14

There were good high grounds in East Maitland, but we wanted to find a place in West Maitland, where there is the largest population. We drove around for nearly three hours, and found that all the unoccupied ground around West Maitland is low and subject to floods. In past years this city has suffered greatly from the floods, and about four weeks ago much of the land around the city was under water. At last we gave up the effort to find a campground nearer than that which Elder Starr has selected, near East Maitland. This matter settled, we drove rapidly to the five o’clock train, which we reach just in time to get on board. I found room to lie down, and slept a portion of the way. At nine-thirty we reached Strathfield, where we were met by Brother J. J. Wessels, who took us to his home. I thought it was a pretty busy day for one seventy-two years old. 14LtMs, Lt 139, 1899, par. 15

I shall speak to the people here on Sabbath, and on Sunday we are to visit several villages on the railway line near Hornsby, that we may see what the opportunities are for selecting a good location for the Sydney Sanitarium. We are praying the Lord to lead and guide us in this matter. We desire that this sanitarium shall be established outside the city, in a high and healthful locality, where we can secure easy communication with the city, and have the advantages of the city water supply. We must be several miles from the sea. 14LtMs, Lt 139, 1899, par. 16

The building erected at Avondale for a health retreat is small, about fifteen rooms in all, but it will serve for the present necessity. For this building we solicit your donations. Those who help us in this will be doing a good work. We are much in need of money to provide facilities for work. May the Lord help His people to do the work that is so urgent in this part of His great vineyard. There are important fields to be worked. We shall not hover over the churches, but press into new territory, and raise the standard in places where the message has not been proclaimed. May the Lord bless and guide you is my prayer. 14LtMs, Lt 139, 1899, par. 17

In much love. 14LtMs, Lt 139, 1899, par. 18